College Football America’s 2015 Coaching Carousel update: Harbaugh officially Michigan’s coach

Michigan athletics' Twitter message to Jim Harbaugh for his birthday on Dec. 23.

Michigan athletics’ Twitter message to Jim Harbaugh for his birthday on Dec. 23.

Our long national nightmare is over. Jim Harbaugh has a new job.

I hesitated to post this Monday night because Harbaugh can be, at times, mercurial. Both Detroit newspapers reported that Harbaugh signed the contract on Monday night, but with NFL teams — most notably Oakland — trying to keep him in the NFL, I felt it best to wait until the press conference on Tuesday.

So here we are. Michigan has their “Michigan Man.” Harbaugh will get a reported $5 million over seven years, a little less than earlier reports. The press conference was Tuesday morning.

Harbaugh is a great hire for Michigan. Aside from his obvious Michigan connections — he played quarterback for Big Blue in the 1980s — he’s won everywhere he’s been as a head coach. He led San Diego in FCS to a pair of 11-win seasons at a school that didn’t offer scholarships. He moved to Stanford where he led the Cardinal back to national prominence and an Orange Bowl berth. During his four years with the San Francisco 49ers he led them to three straight NFC title games and one Super Bowl appearance.

The only downside I see is that it’s likely Harbaugh will leave at some point. This isn’t a stepping stone job, but he seems like one of those guys who lives for the challenge. His shelf life has been four years thus far. Maybe he lasts longer at a place that already worships him. But we’ll see. There’s little doubt in my mind that Michigan will get turned around fast under Harbaugh. Recruits are likely already lined up. I would expect the Wolverines to be a bowl team in 2015 and a national contender in 2016.

With Harbaugh’s hiring the 2015 FBS coaching carousel is, for now, stopped. Unbelievably, only 14 jobs have changed so far, but the NFL is about to start its coaching carousel season, so it’s best to say this is a break.


Buffalo Jeff Quinn Lance Leipold
Colorado State Jim McElwain Mike Bobo
Florida Will Muschamp Jim McElwain
Houston Tony Levine Tom Herman
Kansas Charlie Weis David Beaty
Michigan Brady Hoke Jim Harbaugh
Nebraska Bo Pelini Mike Riley
Oregon State Mike Riley Gary Andersen
Pittsburgh Paul Chryst Pat Narduzzi
SMU June Jones Chad Morris
Troy Larry Blakeney Neal Brown
Tulsa Bill Blankenship Philip Montgomery
UNLV Bobby Hauck Tony Sanchez
Wisconsin Gary Andersen Paul Chryst

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